The Big Leagues
I'm sure every industry has their version of it, but I've never really worked in any other business but booze and lately it seems like I've been getting my share of "big leaguing." To big league someone, if you're unaware, is when someone tries to show you up in public by either acting too cool for school or trying to put you down while others are watching. Part of it's on me. As an outgoing, talkative, and relatively friendly person, I invite that type of response from assholes everywhere. My personality is like a dog whistle for dickheads. I have a photographic memory for faces and I have no problem approaching people I haven't seen in twenty years like it's only been a week. I'm the guy who remembers every customer in the store and comfortably calls them by name, even if they don't remember mine. That's exactly the kind of situation where someone might look to big league you and act like they have no idea who you are.
Even if they know exactly who they're talking to.
The Bay Area booze industry is RIFE with that type of behavior and I have little tolerance for it, which is why I don't go out all that often these days. I can laugh when someone tries to correct me or call me out for something I've said or written, but if someone who I've met several times acts like they don't know who I am, I get seriously annoyed. When I get big leagued like that, sometimes I can't help but big league them back. I'll give you an example of something that happened this week:
I was at an industry event talking to a colleague, when I ran into an old distiller friend chatting with another man that I recognized. Out of politeness, my friend introduced me to that man even though we already knew each other.
"We know each other," I said with a smile. Then the man looked me dead in the eye and said: "Oh, have we met?"
After I recounted to him exactly how we had met and interacted, he laughed and said: "Right, that must be it."
Then I couldn't help it.
"Yeah, it's either that or maybe it's the signed copy of your book on my desk at work; the one you sent me in the mail with the inscription in the front handwritten by you, explaining to me how my blog and my writing really inspired you in your pursuing your own. It could be that, too."